The 2012 season will have a lot of story lines which will determine the Pirates’ success. How well will Pedro Alvarez do? How many starts will Erik Bedard make? Will Alex Presley establish himself as a starting outfielder? How far will Jeff Karstens regress from his 2011 numbers? And most importantly, how many wins will the Pirates have?
You can make your choices for some of these topics below. The winner gets, well, nothing. I’m not keeping track. But tomorrow night I’ll take a look at the consensus results.
Pedro Alvarez Home Runs
There’s a lot of over/unders we could do with Pedro Alvarez. But using a simple approach, his home runs should tell the story. If he’s playing well, he’ll have a shot at hitting more than 20 homers. If he’s not playing well, he probably won’t be on the roster long enough for 20 homers. So will he be over 20 homers or under?
Erik Bedard Starts
It’s not really a question of how good Erik Bedard will be. It’s more a question of how long he will stay healthy. He made 24 starts last year, but hasn’t made more than 15 from 2008-2010. How many will he make for the Pirates?
Alex Presley OPS
Alex Presley posted an .804 OPS in 215 at-bats last year. If he were to do that over the course of a full season, he’d establish himself as a strong starting outfielder. Can he repeat those numbers over a full season?
Jeff Karstens ERA
Jeff Karstens had a 3.38 ERA last year, although his secondary numbers and unsustainable high strand rate suggest a regression. How far will that regression go?
Joel Hanrahan Last Pirates Appearance of the Season
If Joel Hanrahan repeats his 2011 season, he will likely be due $7-8 M in 2013. That would make him a prime trade candidate this year. Will he be traded by the deadline? If you think he will, select the “Under” below. If you think he will stick around and make an appearance for the Pirates beyond the deadline, select the “Over”.
Vegas has the over-under for the Pirates at 73 wins. I set the over-under for 72.5. Will they win more than last year, or will the 2012 season see an overall regression?
Links and Notes
**Here is the extended Spring Training roster. These are the guys who will end up on short-season teams later in the year.
**Prospect Notebook: Hunter Strickland throws five innings in a Marauders’ scrimmage.+ posts
Tim is the owner, producer, editor, and lead writer of PiratesProspects.com. He has been running Pirates Prospects since 2009, becoming the first new media reporter and outlet covering the Pirates at the MLB level in 2011 and 2012. His work can also be found in Baseball America, where he has been a contributor since 2014 and the Pirates' correspondent since 2019.